#Idlenomore and the Remaking of Canada

Ken Coates. University of Regina Press (Univ. of Toronto, North American dist.), $27.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-88977-342-4
In 2012 and 2013, the Idle No More Aboriginal political movement swept across Canada like a prairie wind. Coates (Arctic Front) details how it began in Saskatchewan in the form of gatherings, mostly of Aboriginal women and children protesting against injustice, but the movement soon became complex: angry but peaceful, spontaneous but purposeful, more cultural than political but still deeply in opposition to Prime Minister Harper. Coates believes that Idle No More may prove to be "the most important and transformative event in recent Canadian history," and in seven chapters, he tries to explore what it is all about. The roots of Aboriginal anger lie in historical discrimination, racism, and ignored treaties. Idle No More is therefore an anti-colonial reaction to "generations of contact, conflict, and attempts at reconciliation." The Conservative government's Bill C-45—particularly its gutting of forest and waterway protections—was merely the spark that lit a long-existing Aboriginal fuse. Although the movement appeared to be spent by late 2013, Coates sees in its legacy the indomitable resilience of Aboriginal identity. Coates is an academic, but he writes with a forthright passion that should appeal to anyone interested in what it means to be Canadian in the 21st century. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 04/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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